Just because we are friends doesn’t mean that’s okay

I don’t know what it is.  Do I inspire disrespect? Do I have an aura about me that reads “loves slackers and those that can’t be dependable”? Or is the moral accountability in today’s society just not there any longer?

Today was a rough day.  After being at the theater for twelve hours yesterday, coming home and decompressing and dealing with the time change, let’s just say I was a heathen this morning.  I didn’t get up in time to go to early service, and to be quite frank with you I had no desire to go at all.  It was one of those days where you are just feeling anti-social and want to do nothing but be by yourself.  I know that sounds odd and selfish, but we all need decompress time, right?  No TV, no crowds–I spent the morning with a few cups of chai and a book, then cleaned (or pretended to), and got ready for dinner.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood for dinner.  For those that are unaware, Sunday nights are girls night at my house.  I Tivo that week’s episodes of Gray’s Anatomy and Private Practice, and after dinner we settle in and watch.  Because of the kid’s production at church last week, we had four hours of TV to catch up on.  Dinner, every week, is at 5pm at my house.  I haven’t ‘cooked’ much lately–made chicken noodle soup from scratch, or homemade spaghetti sauce, or something like that, but it had been a while since I had done the whole course-meal thing.  So, to celebrate spring (since we couldn’t celebrate Pi Day since Beth gave up sweets for Lent), I prepared a pretty darn good meal if I do say so myself.

Dinner was artichoke and Parmesan stuffed chicken breasts grilled outside, a homemade carrot salad, peas, and homemade rolls.  The rolls didn’t rise fully, but that’s okay they were still good.  Plus kneading dough is good for the aggression.

Here’s what bothers me. Continue reading

When the experience doesn’t live up to the hype

I love Lost.  Sure, it has some bad memories from the first seasons with he-who-is-gone, but the show itself I love.  This season, some friends and I gather to watch it every Tuesday night.  Last week we were staring at the teaser for this week’s episode in slow-mo trying to see what was going on.  “So big we can’t show you a preview” was the general theme.

Well, the show was good, but not that good.

I mean who doesn’t love Sayid.  And who wouldn’t like a show centered around him.  Confused as all get out when his brother is married to Nadia, the love of his life.  Can’t believe he turned rogue on the temple.

But all in all?  A bit disappointing.

Now I know that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have had the entire season plotted out and have vowed to answer some of the questions, but don’t you think that they shouldn’t be creating questions at this point?
Still, it’s one of the best hours on TV right now, so I enjoy it.  Plus who doesn’t like getting together with friends once a week??? 🙂

Proof that Industry Standards need to change

Project Runway is one of my favorite reality television shows.  Yes, it’s starting to cycle.  Yes, it’s all starting to run together.  Yes, it’s formulaic.  But it’s still impressive to see the amazing talent (and incredible delusion) that the contestants have.  The new follow-up show, Models of the Runway, has been fun as well.  It’s been interesting to see the girls that never talked before and how they are going through the competition.

Last season there was a model that was visited by her son.  I remember thinking that there was no way on earth that those hips had borne a child.  This woman–a statuesque 5’10”, beautiful complexion, skeleton with skin–was just so stinkin’ skinny, I could not imagine her pregnant.  The picture I have in my head is of a woman toppling over because the weight of the pumpkin sitting on her front was pulling her over.

That being said, this past month was New York Fashion Week.  Models galore with the opportunity to walk the catwalk for genius designers, some working as many as three shows a day.  One of the more famous models recently is the lovely 21-year-old Coco Rocha.  At 120 pounds, she is, in my opinion, underweight for her 5’10” frame.  Yet the people in New York have been denying her work because her size 4 frame is considered too fat for fashion.

The average American woman is at least a size 12.  The average runway model has gained weight and moved to a size zero from a size double zero.  What about this is normal?  What happened to the Christie Brinkley’s and the Cindy Crawfords of old, the women with curves?  What happened to HEALTHY looking women?  Did the Kate Moss era change the perspective of every human?  Do people really think that skeletal hipbones are healthy and normal?

I’m not advocating a nation of obese people.  I’m not saying we all need to have Krispy Kreme for three meals every day.  I am just asking what the perception of normal is in an industry that is supposed to appeal to the common woman.

It’s Irksome!

A friend of mine has two older brothers.  The wives of both are friends of mine as well, one much more so than the other.  I read today on Facebook that J&A are expecting their second child, to go along with an 18 month old they already have.  The expected congratulations were forthcoming, including one from the future grandmother, who wrote, “Wishing you the best for an eazy pregnancy and a healthy baby!”

Eazy.  From a woman who taught high school English for her entire career.

I don’t know why but that irks the tar out of me.  I can handle misspelled words–as we all know the electronic youth of today have no concept of spell-check or constantly use gr8 as an acceptable printing of great.  Usually I just read with no concern.  But for some reason, to have a former English teacher do that bothered me.  Probably because she’s someone who has no problem correcting my speech in normal conversation or critiquing her daughter in public or correcting what she thinks is wrong for anyone.

But for some reason, tonight, when I saw eazy?  Really?  It irked me.

I’m just sayin’.

In defense of the worst, part two

Moviefone.com, in honor of Valentine’s Day, recently posted what they consider to be the worst 25 romantic comedies of all time.

25. Rumor Has It
24. Blind Date
23. Simply Irresistable
22. Employee of the Month
21. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
20. Alex & Emma
19. Haunted Honeymoon
18. Two of a Kind
17. Who’s That Girl
16. Over Her Dead Body
15. Down to You
14. My Boss’s Daughter
13. Say It Isn’t So
12. I Love Trouble
11. Good Luck Chuck
10. All About Steve
9. Summer Catch
8. Because I Said So
7. Mannequin: On the Move
6. Dirty Love
5. The Beautician and the Beast
4. Mr. Wrong
3. From Justin to Kelly
2. The Hottie and the Nottie
1. Gigli

I have to say I agree with the top dozen or so, but it’s the bottom half of the list that I actually have a few that I am fond of.  Specifically, numbers 24, 23, and 17. Continue reading

Nicholas Sparks should be banned from publishing

Today was my friend K’s birthday. (Happy 31st girl!) She took the day off and wanted to hang out this morning, so we went to see a movie. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of great flicks out at the moment, so we chose to see Dear John, which is based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name.  Now, I would have enjoyed it anyway just because, well, hello, Channing Tatum!  (He may not be the world’s greatest actor, but come on! Check out those pecs!  Yummy.  Where was I?)  Oh, so we chose to see this movie, and I am currently 2/3 of the way through the book too.  The movie is similar to the book, with a few significant differences, but it is pretty much your standard Nicholas Sparks’ film–lots of schlock, lots of trite lines, boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy and girl have agonizing relationship, blah blah blah.  Your typical sappy chick-flick tear-jerker.  (Yes, I cried.  I cry at marshmallow commercials.  So sue me.)

Anywho, maybe it’s the last five days worth of wedding-related relationship-required postings, but I started thinking. Continue reading

Bridal Dos and Don’ts, Part 4

Disclaimer: Seriously, this is just stuff I think.  Make your own list!

Final notes

  • Your caterers are waiters and waitresses.  They are usually making about $4/hour for your event.  TIP THEM.  If you tip the manager or the catering director, the odds are that the money will never make it to the staff.  One of the companies that I left a management position in I left for that very reason–the owner got the tip and didn’t share, and it equated to several hundred dollars per event minimum.  That should be split amongst those that actually work the event, and he was pocketing it.  I was taxed for it.  If at all possible, tip the servers the night of the function, as the odds that they will receive the money will go up considerably.  Also tip appropriately.  $100 for a catered event for 250 people means that each worker will get about $7.50.  You do the math.  If you can tip your bartenders separately, that’s even better.  They are second to the bridal bitch in the hardest working people around.
  • If you see the workers drinking, it’s kind of standard.  I don’t drink often, and I never drink at work.  It’s a habit born of having to drive everyone else home.  But chefs are known for their alcohol abuse, and you can bet that when the last guest is gone everyone is popping the bottle open.  If you are in a smaller venue you’ll probably see blatant consummation.
  • Speaking of consummation, don’t consummate the wedding at the reception, wait until the wedding night.  That’s just tacky, y’all.  And most of all, keep an eye on the bridal party.  Those of you who are not marrying for love (and you know who you are) need to be wary.  More than once I have walked in on the groom with someone in a compromising position, and that someone was not the one wearing white that just said “I do”.
  • The day is supposed to be fun.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  So it’s raining, it’s good luck in some cultures.  So the mother of the groom is patting your belly asking about the bun in the oven, and you’ve not even thought about kids.  She’s now your family, and you’ve got to learn to ignore her at some point.  It’s a whole new life baby, get ready for the ride!

That’s it, kiddos.  I could have kept going, but even I am sick of reading this stuff.  What are your tips???

Bridal Dos and Don’ts, Part 3

Disclaimer: Blah blah blah.  Same stuff I’ve said the last two days.

Only one more day after this, I promise!

The reception

  • Have enough food.  Doesn’t have to be steak for everyone, a buffet is fine.  Just have enough.
  • Have appropriate entertainment.  It can be a reception in the church fellowship hall where all are mingling, and that’s fine.  A karaoke machine instead of a band is a hard sell, especially when the bride limits the singers to the bridal party only.  (There were only so many times I could hear Redneck Woman.)  A band is fine, a DJ is fine.  If your guests are mostly over the age of 60, it is a waste of money to have a dance floor.  A string quartet of high school students makes a nice background accompaniment.
  • Take care of rituals early so that your extended guests can leave.  Don’t wait three hours to cut the cake, toss the bouquet, etc.
  • The best man makes a speech.  Maybe the maid of honor.  Not every member of the bridal party and every family member present.
  • Beware the camera-on-every-table trick.  If you do this, you’ll get a ton of photos of the first 90 minutes of the reception and then the film will be gone.  It’s a great idea in theory.  One of the best ways I saw it handled was to have the caterers put cameras on a singular table in shifts every hour or so, so that new cameras would be available for other photos.
  • Be nice to your bartender.  There may not be a tip jar displayed due to company rules, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t take cash.  Also remember that an open bar does not mean that the bartenders are getting tipped.
  • Know when to wrap things up.  Make sure that you have a time table.  Your caterers have been working at least two, sometimes three hours longer than you have been there, and usually they have another hour or so after the last guest leaves.  Not to mention you will also have to pay a fine if you go over in time for your venue rental.

The cake: Continue reading

Bridal Dos and Don’ts, Part 2

Disclaimer: This post is completely opinionated.  It is from my experience as a caterer and ‘bridal bitch’ for more than fifteen years, as well as being in seven weddings as an attendant of some sort.  It is compiled from the conversations employees had in the kitchen during/after events and cracking up over the antics of whatever reception was going on.  It is by no means meant to be a gospel truth, it’s just lessons learned over time!

Continued from yesterday, and to be continued tomorrow!!!

The ceremony

  • Depending on your religion, ethnicity, and personal preference, just about anything goes.  You may have a full homily, you may have written your own vows, you may have  just enough strength to say “I do” and nothing else.  Pre-ceremony music is fine.  Eighteen solos is extensive.  A long-lost tape recording of dad playing the recorder is a bit much.  Just remember your guests.   Communion for 200 takes a lot of time, so have more than one person offering.  A full homily can take awhile, so make sure that you have seats for the wedding party.   Many people may not be of your faith, so a program would be nice explaining traditions such as kneeling, head coverings, etc. Continue reading

Bridal Dos and Don’ts, Part 1

Disclaimer: This post is completely opinionated.  It is from my experience as a caterer and ‘bridal bitch’ for more than fifteen years, as well as being in seven weddings as an attendant of some sort.  It is compiled from the conversations employees had in the kitchen during/after events and cracking up over the antics of whatever reception was going on.  It is by no means meant to be a gospel truth, it’s just lessons learned over time!

So when I started typing, I realized I had a lot to say.  I guess 15 years of working weddings leads to a very opinionated point of view.  So it will probably be 2-3 days worth of postings!

Before the ceremony

  • Arrive with plenty of time to get ready.  Be it at a church or at a venue, give yourself at least two hours to relax and to get dressed with no stress.  Depending on your hair length, you have probably had someone else style your hair ahead of time.  Take care.  Do not wear a pullover shirt, do not ride with the windows down, do not run after your flower girl.  You are already on wedding alert, and cannot mess with the hair because odds are someone there will not be able to fix it.
  • Have a ‘bridal bitch’.  This is a term that we called the head catering employee that was to wait on the bride and make sure all needs are met.  If you are getting married in a church or someplace other than the reception site, ask a friend to do it.  Your Mistress of Ceremonies could, but odds are they are otherwise occupied.  This person should come prepared with the following items: Bottled water, straws, mending kit, tampons, first aid kit (bandaids, peroxide, etc.), several travel packs of tissues, saltines, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, contact/saline solution, bobby pins, hair spray, serious sticky tape, matches, nail polish, washcloth, and straight pins/floral pins/floral tape.  I know, I know, you want to know what all this is for.  I shall explain:

Continue reading

In defense of the worst, part one

I recently saw a listing of the worst TV shows released in the past decade. Some of them, like According to Jim and Kath and Kim, rightfully belong in the top five (I still can’t believe that According to Jim was on the air for several seasons!  Maybe these two should be a lesson to not name the sitcom after the main character?).

I took issue with one of the ‘winners’ in particular: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Granted, it wasn’t Aaron Sorkin’s brightest shining moment.  And yes, it was obvious from the character of Harriet Hayes that he was bitter about his then-recent breakup to noted Christian Kristin Chenoweth.  But there were some parts of the show that were outstandingly brilliant, and I think it deserves to be recognized as such.  It came on the air the same time that 30 Rock debuted, and as an hour-long drama instead of a half hour sitcom it was the runner up in the on-air battle.  Yanked before it’s episodes finished running, the set was destroyed before the final episodes aired. Thanks to DVDs, however, I am able to watch it in its entirety about twice a year.

Admittedly, I felt like it was overkill with the ‘you’re going to hell and I’m not just because I was baptized and you are a heathen’.  But correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t premarital sex, monogomy, and blasphemy outlawed by the Bible as well?  In which case, said character would be going to hell also, correct?

That aside, however, it was a remarkable use of an amazing cast.  Continue reading

Facebook stalker!

My mother defines this phrase.

For a  year, she had been pestering my brother and I about Facebook.  “What’s all the fuss” “Why do you spend so much time on the computer” blah blah blah blah.  We gave her many reasons–ways to catch up with people, ways to keep in touch with those that live far away, ways to stay in contact with those that live overseas and therefore ones we’d never have a chance to hear from otherwise.  She didn’t get it.  So my brother finally set her up on Facebook about four months ago so that she could mess around.

She has 14 friends.  She claims she doesn’t want any more.  All of them are either relatives or friends from my brother or me.

Yet weekly, sometimes daily, I get a voice mail or email saying “Go check out ____’s page!”  It cracks me up.  She who bemoans the lack of privacy and the fact that nothing is personal any more spends HOURS every day looking up her high school acquaintances, old boyfriends of mine, children of people from church, spouses of children of former coworkers, you name it.  And she LOVES to dish about what she finds.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that if you’re going to keep your Facebook profile set to public then you have every right to expect people to read the infinite minutiae of your life.  But there is a limit on what I want to know.  If I wanted to know what my mother’s former coworker’s son’s wife’s brother had for breakfast, then I’d look it up.  I’m just tired of having her send me all this info.  I have enough friends on Facebook, I don’t need to look up random facts of people I’ve never met.

Now, to top it off, I’m getting phone calls about my OWN Facebook activity.  “You shouldn’t have that for a potential employer to see”.  “You shouldn’t post things like that someone will break into your house and rob you blind”. “You make too many comments about your cousin”. “Why do you talk to your church friends so much on Facebook?”.  It goes on and on.  First of all, a potential employer wouldn’t look at anything more than my photo on my Facebook page, thanks to the privacy settings.  That’s what LinkedIn is for–the professional contacts.  The stuff on Facebook is for those that I hang out with, those that are from my past that I don’t mind keeping in touch with, and those that I call family that are close enough to be connected.  I hang out with my friends from church, therefore I post that I’m going to meet them/they’ve come over whatever.  If someone that is on my friend list uses that as an opportunity to break into my house, well, first they’d have to find out where I live and then second it doesn’t say much for my friend base, does it?

Just random venting about this.  I know it’s a tiny thing, but it irks the hell out of me.  And most of all it has me wondering . . . is it wrong to de-friend my mother on Facebook?

Is there such a thing as too conservative or too zealous when it comes to religion?

Small disclaimer: It’s late, I read this article a few weeks ago, then again earlier today, and it is STILL bothering me.  So much so that I had to put my thoughts in some sort of rambling order and try and see if I was making sense, making something out of nothing, or making a fool of myself.  Thus the reason for this rambling essay . . . .

This article, and the fact that this is a serious movement, really does frighten me.  I don’t know why, but it does.  I don’t have a problem with different translations in theory, whatever floats your boat you know?  We all have our personally favored translation that we use regularly because we identify with the style of speech, type of writing, etc.  I just have a feeling that if a translation such as this proposes were available it would lead to all sorts of behavior by the extremists, some of which already have their own interpretation of the version in use today.  The simple fact that they consider the KJV to be ‘liberal’ at best to me indicates that they are already skewed in their thinking, not to mention approaching this from an extremely biased perspective–albeit the opposite perspective than the one they currently believe exists in error.

Currently this group feels that the translations out today show a lack of accuracy in both modern language and the original texts as well as a disconnect that has occurred during the translation process, and the group is trying to correct these issues.  I don’t have a problem with some of their requirements for a new translation, such as the logic of hell or open-mindedness.  Nor do I care about gender-inclusive language; in most spoken languages (English being the exception thanks to the PC movement) the plural form of any group of objects is masculine, regardless of the number of females or feminine objects present.  One masculine presence, and the plural form is masculine.  To my knowledge this is only an issue here, in English, but it has never bothered me.

I do take issue with other points.  Continue reading